Today's Youth Perform Today's Music

The New England Conservatory Preparatory School's annual contemporary festival, "Today's Youth Perform Today's Music," was founded in 1991 to give students and faculty the opportunity to study the performance skills needed for contemporary music. Featured composers work closely with students in workshops, seminars, and coachings.

In the recent past, there has been a surge of interest among Preparatory School students to study composition and perform their own music and that of their friends. This has become an integral part of the festival.

Judith Weir"Her music breathes coolly, calmly and intelligently with a clarity of tonal language that positively invites you in."
—The Independent

This year's resident composer is Judith Weir, whose visit comes on the heels of a year of close listening to a fellow British composer to whom Weir is often compared: Benjamin Britten. Like Britten, Weir's approach to tonality eschews academic orthodoxies, while referencing folkloric and ethnographic inspirations. Also like Britten, she has written extensively for the human voice. Her most recent opera, Miss Fortune, premiered at the 2011 Bregenz Festival and moved on to the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.

Boston audiences' exposure to Weir's music include works commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra: Music Untangled and Natural History. The 2013 Aldeburgh Festival premiered her new work for vocal soloist and string orchestra, I give you the end of a golden string, on a program where it kept company with music by Britten, Tippett, and Bartók. Read the Guardian review. Weir received Lincoln Center's Stoeger Prize for chamber music composition in 1997, and Britain's Queen's Medal for Music in 2007.

Participants in NEC Preparatory School's Intermediate and Advanced Piano Seminars perform new music, including works by Judith Weir, at this afternoon session.

Judith Serota ran the Spitalfields Festival in London from 1988 until 2007. Judith Weir was among the composers from whom she commissioned new works for this festival. An amateur pianist herself, Serota's farewell gift to the festival was Variations for Judith, intended as a suite of works that do not require extreme virtuosity, from composers including Weir as well as Richard Rodney Bennett, Michael Berkeley, Diana Burrell, Peter Maxwell Davies, Jonathan Dove, Thea Musgrave, Tarik O’Regan, and Anthony Payne. This suite, 11 short reflections on Bach's arrangement of Stölzel's Bist du bei mir, will be performed by 11 students in the Intermediate Piano Seminar, along with a 12th variation composed for this occasion by festival director Rodney Lister. Lister has also composed When Near, a set of 12 variations for the 12 pianists enrolled in the Advanced Piano Seminar. A. Ramón Rivera is instructor and coordinator of these weekly piano seminars.

1pm: Participants in Intermediate Piano Seminar

Variations for Judith for Piano
short reflections on Bist du bei mir by G.H. Stolzel, arranged by J.S. Bach

G.H. Stolzel (realisation by David Titterrington) Bist du bei mir
Emilia DeJesus

Anthony Burton Breaking Away
Sarah Hsu

Stephen Johns Spitalfields Echoes
Sarah Royka

Anthony Payne Loose Canon for Jude
Anna Buswell

Diana Burrell Music for Judith
Olga Kazarov

Judith Weir To Judith from Judith
Veronica Choulga

Richard Rodney Bennett Little Elegy
Ben Richman

Michael Berkeley Lullaby
Ariya Taraz

Thea Musgrave Prelude
Niav Maher

Tarik O'Regan Diomedes
Sarah Royka

Jonathan Dove Ist Bach bei mir
Amadea Datel

John Rodney Lister When Near
Sofia Lopez

Peter Maxwell Davies Bist du bei mir … oder?
Ben Richman

2pm: Participants in Advanced Piano Seminar I

Gyorgy Ligeti Musica ricercata per pianoforte
Sostenuto Laura Hernandez
Mesto, rigido e ceremoniale Niklas Kniesche
Allegro con spirito Valerie Zhao
Tempo di Valse (poco vivace - "a l'orgue de Barbarie") Armin Thomas
Rubato, Lamentoso Raquel Fisk
Cantabile, molto legato Varum Nambikrishnan
Vivace Energico Fernando Lopez
Adagio. Mesto (Béla Bartók in memoriam) Audrey Lee
Vivace. Capriccioso Hannah To

George Crumb A Little Suite for Christmas
The Visitation - Berceuse for the Infant Jesus - The Shepherd's Noel - Nativity Dance
Audrey Lee

3pm: Participants in Advanced Piano Seminar II

Judith Weir Michael's Strathspey
Forrest Eimold

Lera Auerbach from 24 Preludes for piano
No. 1 Moderato Nathan Sheng
No. 2 Presto YeeJin Yuk
No. 3 Moderato Julian Grabarek
No. 4 Allegro apassionato Julian Grabarek
No. 5 Andantino Jacquelyn Ho
No. 6 Chorale Jacob Kline
No. 7 Andante Jacob Kline
No. 8 Presto Orvill Delatorre
No. 9 Allegro ma non troppo Jonwong Kim
No. 10 Largo Amir Siraj
No. 11 Misterioso Amir Siraj
No. 13 Andante Bryan McGuiggin
No. 14 Allegretto Alicia Juan
No. 15 Moderato Ariane Clio Bowers
No. 16 Moderato - Allegro ma non troppo Lior David
No. 18 Grave Harvey Wu
No. 19 Andante religioso Sinkwon Lee
No. 20 Misterioso John Gibson
No. 21 Allegro moderato Vanessa Haynes
No. 22 Andante Brian McGuiggin
No. 23 ad lib Julian Drummond
No. 24 quarter = 60 Daniel Kim

Judith Weir residency events

2014-01-31 Chamber music masterclass at Walnut Hill School
2014-02-01 Composition masterclass
2014-02-01 New Music for Orchestra
2014-02-01 New Music for Piano
2014-02-02 Full day of concerts

Date: February 1, 2014 - 1:00:PM
Price: Free
Location: Keller Room

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IF YOU HAVE TO ASK WHAT JAZZ IS, YOU'LL NEVER KNOW. LOUIS ARMSTRONG